Homemade Stock – 3 Recipes for Winter Preserving

Winter is the perfect time to move your attention from stocking your pantry to stocking your freezer. The absence of farm fresh greens brings dependence on root vegetables and alliums—perfect partners for making homemade stock. Making chicken stock can be an incredibly easy process using leftover roast chicken, or a more intense cooking project if you are searching for a perfectly clear stock with intense flavor and brilliant clarity. Try both! For the vegetable stock, we move away from traditional flavors and add a fennel bulb to the mix.
homemade chicken vegetable stockPantry Note: Chicken stock will not necessarily go bad in your freezer, but it does have the potential to get freezer burn. To minimize the risk, cover your stock with a layer of plastic wrap, making sure it is lying directly on the surface, before putting on the plastic container lid. I have used stock that is plenty older than four months with good results. Continue reading

Holiday Nibbles – Spiced Pecans

pecansI absolutely LOVE this time of year. I crave the hustle bustle, the busy sidewalks and I don’t even mind standing in line at the post office, but most importantly I love being social. Dropping in on friends or hosting small fetes is what the season is all about and I hope this post finds you all in full swing and with peace of mind.

I wanted to share one of my favorite all time recipes that works beautifully for holiday noshing and is perfect for any last-minute plans or too-lazy-to-cook attitudes. These Spiced Pecans, from my first book Urban Pantry, are at once sweet and spicy. First fried in a small amount of oil, they are then coated in sugar, producing a hard crackling. From there, cooked nuts are quickly tossed with a mixture of sugar and moroccan spices that I promise you are irresistible. Many recipes are good – this one is GREAT. You must try it. Continue reading

5 for Friday, Katie Okumura – Marketing Manager & radio Co-Host

I have the great providence of being surrounded by inspiring people. 5 for Friday questions will be asked of artists, farmers, curators, creators, innovators, entrepreneurs etc – all of the people that I find interesting. Everyone gets the same five questions.

536796_426697254007552_1639940695_nI was fated to meet Katie Okumura – she is my soul sister in many ways. Many years ago, at a mutual friends wedding, I was the day-of coordinator while Katie was the Maid of Honor. Little did I know this PYT would soon become a big part of my life. KatieO now works in marketing and merriment at Tom Douglas Restaurants, my professional alma mater of sorts. She is in charge of creating and implementing the events, marketing strategies, web copy, etc for several of the restaurants. A pretty cool job, right?! KatieO-On-The-Go is also a weekly contributor (and frankly the charming glue that holds two wayward chefs together in lively conversation!) to Seattle Kitchen on KIRO, Chefs Tom Douglas & Thierry Rautureau’s food radio program. Continue reading

Giving New Meaning to “Wine and Dine”

Barley RisottoHow to Enjoy a nice, vintage wine not just with your meals, but in them.

Adding wine to cooking is no big trick – people have been using wine in meals for years. Think Coq Au Vin and you’re in the ballpark. I’m often asked what wines are best for cooking. If a recipe calls for a ‘dry white’ wine, which is best to use? As a rule of thumb, the better the wine, the better the outcome and flavor of the final dish. Using vintage wines will upgrade a nice and freshly prepared meal into something luxurious.

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Garden Work & Nelson Mandela

nelsonmandela

Photo from “A Prisoner in the Garden”.

I came across a post on the internet this week, after learning of Nelson Mandela’s death. There are so many lessons, thoughts and mantras that he left behind with his words, and the following passages are particularly meaningful to me. Namaste.

This is a short excerpt from his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom.

“The Bible tells us that gardens preceded gardeners, but that was not the case at Pollsmoor, where I cultivated a garden that became one of my happiest diversions. It was my way of escaping from the monolithic concrete world that surrounded us. Within a few weeks of surveying all the empty space we had on the building’s roof and how it was bathed the whole day, I decided to start a garden and received permission to do so from the commanding officer. Continue reading